The parent church for our church plant in Savannah Georgia decided to go through the process of making a name change. The church was located on Middleground Road in Savannah. So, one of the names considered was Middle Ground Baptist Church. This would have been an unfortunate choice since the connotation of middle-ground is a negative one. It would mean that the church would stand firm in the middle, neither hot or cold for the things of God. Fortunately, the church sat on the corner of Middleground Road and Montgomery Cross Road and chose Crossroads Baptist Church instead.
The point here is that with God, there is no middle-ground. Someone is either with God or not with God. There are no other choices. Here, the author quotes some principles from the Old Testament that speak of the Lord’s return and the just recompense for people, depending on which side they stand. There is no middle-ground. There will be those who stand with the Lord and those who do not.
The author indicates that in a “little while” the Lord shall return and he goes on to quote Habakkuk stating that he will come without delay at the foreordained time (Hab 2:3-4). From this same reference of Habakkuk, he states that the Lord’s righteous one “shall live by faith.” However, the author also mentions that the Lord takes “no pleasure” in the faithless, those who have rejected the Lord and His salvation.
In a summary, the author gives us this thought. “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39, AV). There is a difference between those of faith and those that are not. Those that are on the Lord’s side, those of faith, experience the salvation of their souls, while those who are not on the Lord’s side, the faithless, experience destruction.
Yet, the author gives us one additional clarifying thought. He states, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition.” In saying “we are not,” of those faithless that fall away, he then goes on to explain that “we” are of those who truly “believe to the saving of the soul.” The implication is that those of true faith will not fall away, that is to become faithless. Those of true faith will endure to the end. This does not mean that true believers will never sin, but that they will endure to the end.
So, how can we identify those who have mere intellectual assent? How will we differentiate them from the ones of true faith? Perhaps we should not worry so much about that. Afterall, Jesus gave us some parables to explain that the angels will make this determination at the end of age (Matt 13:36-43, 47-50). The author stated this earlier regarding those of true faith, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:14, AV). True believers will hold on to the end.
Therefore, continue to encourage those in your evangelical community, that is your local church or small group with these truths. There is no middle-ground. You are either with God or you are not. Those who are with the Lord are those of true faith. Those of true faith will persevere until the end. Encourage everyone to hang in there on God’s side.